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 :: 1906-1975, German-born American Political Philosopher

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Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Promises]

 

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The ceaseless, senseless demand for original scholarship in a number of fields, where only erudition is now possible, has led either to sheer irrelevancy, the famous knowing of more and more about less and less, or to the development of a pseudo-scholarship which actually destroys its object.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Scholars and Scholarship]

 

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The chief reason warfare is still with us is neither a secret death-wish of the human species, nor an irrepressible instinct of aggression, nor, finally and more plausibly, the serious economic and social dangers inherent in disarmament, but the simple fact that no substitute for this final arbiter in international affairs has yet appeared on the political scene.
~ Hannah Arendt - [War]

 

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The defiance of established authority, religious and secular, social and political, as a world-wide phenomenon may well one day be accounted the outstanding event of the last decade.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Twentieth Century]

 

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The earth is the very quintessence of the human condition.
~ Hannah Arendt - [World]

 

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The human condition is such that pain and effort are not just symptoms which can be removed without changing life itself; they are the modes in which life itself, together with the necessity to which it is bound, makes itself felt. For mortals, the ''easy life of the gods'' would be a lifeless life.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Effort]

 

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The more dubious and uncertain an instrument violence has become in international relations, the more it has gained in reputation and appeal in domestic affairs, specifically in the matter of revolution.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Violence]

 

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The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Revolutions and Revolutionaries]

 

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The new always happens against the overwhelming odds of statistical laws and their probability, which for all practical, everyday purposes amounts to certainty; the new therefore always appears in the guise of a miracle.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Novelty]

 

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The Third World is not a reality but an ideology.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Third World]

 

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The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Evil]

 

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The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide. In this sense, truth, even if it does not prevail in public, possesses an ineradicable primacy over all falsehoods.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Truth]

 

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There is all the difference in the world between the criminal's avoiding the public eye and the civil disobedience's taking the law into his own hands in open defiance. This distinction between an open violation of the law, performed in public, and a clandestine one is so glaringly obvious that it can be neglected only by prejudice or ill will.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Protest]

 

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To be sure, nothing is more important to the integrity of the universities than a rigorously enforced divorce from war-oriented research and all connected enterprises.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Colleges and Universities]

 

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Total loyalty is possible only when fidelity is emptied of all concrete content, from which changes of mind might naturally arise.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Loyalty]

 

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Totalitarianism is never content to rule by external means, namely, through the state and a machinery of violence; thanks to its peculiar ideology and the role assigned to it in this apparatus of coercion, totalitarianism has discovered a means of dominating and terrorizing human beings from within.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Totalitarianism]

 

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We have almost succeeded in leveling all human activities to the common denominator of securing the necessities of life and providing for their abundance.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Excess]

 

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What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Hypocrisy]

 

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What really distinguishes this generation in all countries from earlier generations... is its determination to act, its joy in action, the assurance of being able to change things by one's own efforts.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Action]

 

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What will happen once the authentic mass man takes over, we do not know yet, although it may be a fair guess that he will have more in common with the meticulous, calculated correctness of Himmler than with the hysterical fanaticism of Hitler, will more resemble the stubborn dullness of Molotov than the sensual vindictive cruelty of Stalin.
~ Hannah Arendt - [Masses]

 

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